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December 21, 2005

Yankees Welcome Their Newest Ego to the Lockeroom [updated]

[comments have been fixed!]

"Without a doubt (he'll cut his hair and shave his moustache). Mr. Steinbrenner has a policy and I'm going to stick to it. Our policy with the Yankees is to go out there and win and we're going to try to bring another championship to them. They haven't had a championship since Chuck Knoblauch was there, when they had a great leadoff hitter. I think the leadoff role has been underappreciated over the years but I think with the teams that have won lately, Scott Podsednik this year, myself last year, Juan Pierre the year before, a good leadoff man is tough to find, and I think that New York just found the best leadoff hitter in the game.

Johnny Damon - New York Yankee

Others blogging the story:

More at Boston Dirt Dogs

Bornintoit: Jesus has become evil!

Bronx Pride seems to like the deal

Unbiased Yankee fan

Our own Jon seems to like the deal.


Ok, I've had time to think about this.

I. Am. So. Pissed. Off. Right. Now.

50 million for FOUR YEARS? What the hell kind of deal is that? Damon doesn't have four good years left in him, at least not worth that kind of money. His arm is just about the same as Bernie's. Yea, he can run faster. But I don't think he is worth this much money for that long. THis is another in a long line of stupid "Let's spend a lot of money on today and forget about tomorrow" moves on George's part.

I am spitting nails right now. Damon's humungous ego is going to be cancerous to the clubhouse and I don't care what you think, the clubbouse attitude is a HUGE part of what makes a team a team. I complained all last season that the Yankees had no heart. Damon is just going to make that worse.

God. Damn.

Come on people, I know you're out there. What do you think of this?

Update: My favorite Sox blogger weighs in:

But seeing JD all towing the fascist line, clean shaven, crew cut … Christ, my mind can't handle it. My man love for Johnny has had its mouth stuffed with a dishrag and lies murdahed in a dirty bathtub.

Posted by Michele at December 21, 2005 06:11 AM

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Poor Robinson Canoe. No, seriously, POOR Robinson Canoe! Poor guy is on the field making 320K while Posada is the next lowest at just over $10 million.

(based on the figures in Bornintoit's entry)

Posted by: Mark at December 21, 2005 04:14 PM

Well at least I feel validated as the pundits seem to have the same take on this whole issue as I do.

Did we spend too much on Captain Caveman? Absolutely!!! Did it make the Red Sux weaker in the process? Absolutely!!!

So does this become an addition by subtraction argument then? Possibly.

But the bottom line is this. No matter how good the offense is, if the pitching staff doesn't make a complete 180, we're still going to be involved in too many 10-7 games for me to feel comfortable about.

My alternative would have been to sign someone like Jacque Jones, or trade for someone like Torii Hunter. Though I guess Damon is better than the Cory Patterson alternative, as was bantied about if Damon didn't accept by midnight last night.

But the problem with making any trades, is the well-known anti-Yankee bias that exists in baseball. GM's will trade player X to the Yanks for the farm, while taking a bag of balls and some peanuts to trade the same player to another team. Dickweeds!!! Ain't jealousy a bitch!!!

As far as Damon being a clubhouse cancer, I kinda see Jeets grabing Damon by the shorthairs when he starts doing those infamous naked pull-ups, and letting him know that "we don't do that here" and put that jackass in line.

Time will tell how this will end up playing itself out, but you've got to know this is far from being settled, so let's just sit back and relax and what the Fenway Fuckwits, gawd I love that term, come up with to counter this move.

Posted by: ATXYanksFan at December 21, 2005 04:17 PM

He's on the downside of his career and it seems that George has overpaid once again (not that he can't afford it), but it's got to be worth it for the HUGE blow this has dealt to Boston. IT will suck seeing him in a Yuckees uniform, but isn't that part of why
George did it?

Posted by: Melissa at December 21, 2005 04:21 PM

I reconciled myself to this long ago. I figured it was going to happen. Given the choices they had, this was probably the best of a bad lot. Did we overpay? What's new? At least we know he can play in pressure situations.

Posted by: Lesley at December 21, 2005 04:59 PM

You're not fooling anybody, Michele, you've had a secret crush on Damon for a couple years now.

Posted by: JFH at December 21, 2005 05:32 PM

I would have loved to see Crosby given a shot as the everyday centerfielder, but you just know DBG wouldn't go for a guy named Bubba roaming around out there on a regular basis. Getting Damon only cost money; trading for anyone worthwhile would have been near impossible without the Gold Star Kids (Cano, Wang), who Cashman has been pretty firm about being untouchable. If this shows me anything, it's that the deal Cashman has about not being doublecrossed anymore by the Tampa Mafia is, for now, actually in effect. Even Damon's salary isn't all that much; Bernie's (probable) one year deal isn't going to be anywhere near what he made last year, so what the hell? Like ATX said, if he starts playing the ego/flake game, Jeter will corner him in the clubhouse and explain that shit don't fly in the Bronx...with Jorge and Sheff flanking him, gently slapping bats into their hands, nodding in agreement to Jeter's words, saying, "You get that, boy? This ain't goddamn Boston or Oakland. That shit is over now." when Jeter finishes explaining the Yankee Way and walks away....

Now if Pavano and Wright can just be competent, and everyone stays healthy, the Yanks are in pretty good shape heading into Spring Training, having filled the holes they had to without giving anything up. and the hapless bastard Red Sox are looking at a roster sporting a hole in centerfield, shortstop and first base. (Speak NOT of Toronto: they are Canadiens, thereby beyond consideration).

Posted by: TC at December 21, 2005 05:34 PM

$53 million over 4 years will be a good deal, if it helps push the Red Sox down to third place even just for 2006.

Posted by: Ed at December 21, 2005 06:29 PM

Your trackbacks don't work. I knew this would get a rise out of you:


Thanks for the kind note, btw.

Posted by: bryan at December 21, 2005 06:49 PM

There y'all are! I guess it took some real action to wake everyone up from the winter doldrums. I'm all for this deal. Damon's positives: batting average, left porch power, speed, and competitiveness, outweigh his negatives: weak arm, and age.

As much as Bubba makes a nice sentimental story; at the age of 29 (only 3 years younger than Damon) he really hasn't shown much to warrant serious consideration for the centerfield spot.

Posted by: SS at December 21, 2005 08:47 PM

SS: Granted, site's been in a bit of cobwebs since Michele decided to concentrate on other endeavors ... the fight's always been there, though; you just had to come get it by hitting the list.

Posted by: TC at December 21, 2005 10:01 PM

Just realized - I got my porches mixed up. It's the right one that Damon's going to love. I get a little rusty in the offseason.

Posted by: SS at December 21, 2005 10:51 PM

SS: Hey, you're Nation; we figure you'll get shit wrong every other time.

Posted by: TC at December 22, 2005 12:35 AM

Damon's a flake to be sure, but an egomaniac? I don't see that. Hell, John Wetteland was a big time flake and the team loved that guy. I'm not thrilled about this deal, but the Yankees didn't have much of a choice.

What I do like about Damon is that he plays hard. I always see him running out anything he hits. Unlike Sheffield, who has no problem casually jogging after a ball that gets past him, Damon runs. You watch. They'll be some gappers hit into the more right field part of right-center this year and Damon will get to the ball before Sheffield. The guy has scored 100 or more runs EIGHT straight years.

And while he has fishing line for a throwing arm, we do know that all of the bloopers that turned into singles and long fly balls that turned into doubles and triples with an aging Bernie roaming center won't happen with Damon out there.

Cashman played his cards right. Thankfully, those morons down in Tampa have been cut out of the loop. They would have given Damon the 7 years Boras was asking for.

As for the money, the same amount was paid to Hideki Matsui. They're just about the same age and let's face it. We all suck in our breath in a little whenever anything other than a routine fly ball is hit in Matsui's direction. I love Matsui, but he won't be in the running for a gold glove anytime soon.

Posted by: Jay at December 22, 2005 08:31 AM

SS: Hey, you're Nation

Hey, did you just accuse my father of being a Red Sox fan? Those might be fighting words! Trust me, he's not. He's a long-time Yankees fan.

Posted by: Lesley at December 22, 2005 09:31 AM

TC, where'd you get the crazy notion that I'm a Sox fan? I was a Yankee fan long before you were born - maybe even before your father was born. Man, what are you smoking?

Posted by: SS at December 22, 2005 08:51 PM

No, drinking. The question to ask when I do something dumb is "what are you drinking?"

The answer's usually "beer and _____" with the blank some amber colored liquid of Irish lineage.

Sorry, SS. I'll beat myself senseless as penance...it won't take long. And I'll go buy a twelve pack of the bilgewater called Busch beer as further self punishment. Happy?

Posted by: TC at December 23, 2005 09:29 AM

ah. I recognize this emotion. same one I had with the Alex Rodriguez deal some years ago.

welcome to the dark side.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at December 24, 2005 01:31 AM

Congrats, Yankee fans.
You got him.
You changed him.
You own him.
You can keep him.

This is the last great race in baseball.
So be it.

Good luck, my friends.
See you in April.
And Merry Christmas.

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